I have been collecting spare change for a while now. I have a money box shaped like the Trotters’ Yellow Three-wheeler van from Only Fools and Horses and any penny or two penny coins that I have had at the end of the day have gone in there. It is now very heavy.
When does change become ‘spare change’. At what point does the money in my pocket become surplus to requirements? When does it stop being useful money? Is it that the coins which are relatively worthless weigh a lot for little value and it’s therefore easier to decant them to another place rather than have them wear a hole in my pocket or cause my trousers to fall down? Or is it that I have so much money that I discard any that I do not think I need? While I might prefer the first explanation it has made me think about my relative wealth that I can even have the concept of ‘spare change’ at all. There are many people in Colchester, never mind across the world, whose circumstances are such that no money ever becomes spare. I sense a heavy donation to Christian Aid coming on.
How would the money feel about being considered ‘spare’? Would it resent the idea that I consider it relatively worthless? Would it point out that on its own it may not be very useful but that with lots of its friends it is very effective? (is that a parable?)
A fifty pence piece, a five pound note and a twenty pound note were discussing their lives. The fifty pence said that it seemed to have spent most of its life being bounced from pocket and purse into offering bags in churches. The five pound note said that it too had spent some time in church offering bags but seemed to spend longer in wallets and purses. The twenty pound note paused.
“What’s a church?”